Prepping for the winter weather: Car edition

By Samantha Smith 

From snow on the ground to low temperatures, it is important to prepare for the cold weather. One factor to keep in mind is your vehicle.

Danny O’Connell, director of Support Services at Youngstown State University, said there are two crucial areas of the car that students should keep an eye on. 

“Number one is our tires. You need to check the treads, you need to check your air,” O’Connell said. “Two is your general maintenance. You want to make sure you do your oil changes on time. This is the time of the year you want to check on your antifreeze and make sure you’ve got enough.”

O’Connell also said students should keep a winter safety kit in their cars for any situation that may occur.

“Make sure you have a good working flashlight in your car. You might want to have a blanket in the trunk or the hatch if you have a hatchback,” O’Connell said. “We’re so much safer today with cellphones because we all have a cell phone, but always make sure your cell phone is charged.”

If students are not at home or on campus when experiencing car problems, O’Connell said to check if a towing service is provided for the car and to make sure there are jumper cables in the car in case its battery dies. 

A couple of towing and road services in the Youngstown area for students to contact outside of campus include Carl’s Towing and Road Service, (330) 799-4552, and Youngstown Towing, (330) 574-7264. Both companies can provide services from towing to jump starting a vehicle.

YSU has resources on campus for students with certain car troubles. At the entrance of the Wick Avenue Deck, there is a free air station students can use to refill their tires. 

“A lot of students who don’t park in the Wick Avenue Parking Garage don’t realize we have a free air station in there. I recommend, throughout the winter, to check your tires,” O’Connell said. “If you’re on campus, make the stop over to fill your tires and make sure you have the right tire pressure. Over-inflating a tire can be as much of a problem as under-inflating the tire.”

O’Connell said students can find the exact tire pressure for their car in the front driver’s side door of the car, either on the side of the door or the door’s frame. 

“The biggest thing is keeping your car in good, working condition,” O’Connell said. “We just need to be careful.”

YSU’s Parking Services number is (330) 941-3546 and its Motor Assistance is (330) 941-3051. The Parking Services’ office is open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.